Buprenorphine treatment of pregnant opioid-dependent women: Maternal and neonatal outcomes

Rolley E. Johnson, Hendrée E. Jones, Donald R. Jasinski, Dace S. Svikis, Nancy A. Haug, Lauren M. Jansson, Wendy B. Kissin, Gad Alpan, Michael E. Lantz, Edward J. Cone, Diana G. Wilkins, Archie S. Golden, George R. Huggins, Barry M. Lester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


This open-label prospective study examined maternal and neonatal safety and efficacy outcome measures during and following prenatal buprenorphine exposure. Three opioid-dependent pregnant women received 8 or 12 mg sublingual buprenorphine tablets daily for 15-16 weeks prior to delivery. Results showed that buprenorphine in combination with comprehensive prenatal care was safe and effective in these women. Prenatal exposure to buprenorphine resulted in normal birth outcomes, a mean of 4.33 days (minimum possible=4) hospitalization, and a 'relatively mild' neonatal abstinence syndrome comprised primarily of tremors (disturbed), hyperactive moro and shortened sleep after feeding. The infants required no pharmacological treatment. Onset of neonatal abstinence signs occurred within the first 12 h after birth, peaked by 72 h and returned to below pre-12 h levels by 120 h. It is concluded that buprenorphine has potential utility for the treatment of pregnant opioid-dependent women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2001


  • Buprenorphine
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome
  • Opioid dependence
  • Perinatal addiction
  • Pregnancy
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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